Date of Award

Spring 4-23-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Engineering - Biomedical and Health Systems


Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology- Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Christina Scherrer

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Keyser

Third Advisor

Dr. Lin Li

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Glenn Young Dr. Shillpa Naavaal


The high prevalence of dental caries among children and adolescents, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, is a significant nationwide health concern. Early prevention, such as dental sealants and fluoride varnish (FV), is essential, but access to this care remains limited and disparate. In this research, a national dataset is utilized to assess sealants' reach and effectiveness in preventing tooth decay, particularly focusing on 2nd molars that emerge during early adolescence, a current gap in the knowledge base. FV is recommended to be delivered during medical well-child visits to children who are not seeing a dentist. Challenges and facilitators in implementing this recommendation are explored using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Finally, ordinary differential equations are used to evaluate FV’s potential impact and cost-effectiveness in preventing and treating early-stage tooth decay, which is a new use of an effective mathematical modeling technique. This comprehensive approach combines data analysis, implementation science, and mathematical modeling to effectively address urgent oral health challenges. This research offers valuable insights into dental healthcare strategies and decision-making processes.